Archives for February 2015

Make Disciples of All Nations

Guest contributor:   Ed Trego

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

This verse, the last verse in Matthew’s gospel, is commonly referred to as the great commission. These are the final words Jesus spoke to the apostles prior to His ascension into heaven. After telling them to make disciples of all nations, Jesus returned to heaven to take His rightful place with the Father. When the day of Pentecost came, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them and they began the mission for which they were commissioned.

Who were these men to whom Jesus entrusted the future of His Church? They were common men; men without education; men who did not have the religious training of the Pharisees or the Sadducees of the time. The fact that Jesus chose the common man to be His representatives was one of the things that infuriated the religious elite of Israel. They couldn’t accept that these men, rather than they, were the ones to bring the salvation promised by the Messiah to the world.

The fact that there were not special, not highly educated, not even particularly religious in the sense of the strict Judaism of the time, should give us comfort and hope. We too, by and large, fall in that category. Yet we too, are the chosen ones of Jesus. We are the disciples He entrusted to His apostles. Both in their time and in our own, the apostles and those who have followed them in their mission have had the responsibility and blessing of shepherding the Church founded by Christ.

Who were these men to whom Jesus entrusted His Church? They weren’t particularly brave. Of the original twelve, one would betray Jesus to the authorities; nine would run and hide when the Romans arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Him and one would deny three times that he even knew Jesus. Yet, with the exception of the betrayer, all would return to receive Jesus’ blessing and commission to lead His Church. Perhaps most ironic is that Peter, the one who denied Him three times, would be chosen as the leader of the apostles and the Church.

Of these men, only one would not suffer a martyr’s death. Matthew was killed by a sword in Ethiopia. Mark died in Alexandria after being dragged by horses until he was dead. Luke was hanged in Greece. Peter was crucified upside down on a x-shaped cross. He felt himself unworthy to die as Jesus had and requested to be crucified upside down. James was thrown off the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny Christ. James, the Great, son of Zebedee was beheaded. The Roman officer who guarded him was so amazed by his faith that he declared his own Christian faith and knelt beside James to accept beheading. Bartholomew, also called Nathaniel was flayed to death with a whip in Armenia. Andrew was crucified on an x-shaped cross after being whipped by seven soldiers. He hung on the cross for two days preaching to his tormentors until he died. Thomas was stabbed during a missionary trip to India. Jude was killed by arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace Judas, was stoned and then beheaded. Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, was beheaded in Nero’s Rome.

John, who remained with Jesus through His trial and crucifixion, would be the only one to die of natural causes. He was boiled in oil during a persecution in Rome but was miraculously saved from death. He was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos where he wrote his prophetic book of Revelation. He was later released and served as the Bishop of Edessa in what is now Turkey. He died an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Perhaps because Jesus entrusted his own mother to John, He preserved him to care for her for the rest of her time on earth. “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27)

These were ordinary men who became extraordinary through faith and the Holy Spirit. They weren’t chosen for their abilities or their education. It didn’t matter that they weren’t part of the religious classes, the Pharisees, Sadducees or the Scribes. They were simple men who came to believe in Jesus Christ, realized that He was the Messiah, and learned from Him. As a result of their faith, they were able to change the world.

Why did Jesus choose to take common men and make them uncommon? Perhaps He was telling all people, including you and me, that you don’t have to be special or exceptional to be a part of God’s kingdom. You don’t need great learning to understand and share the lessons of Christ. Our status in society is unimportant in God’s eyes; He sees our potential and will lead us to make the most of that potential.

Today, we have forgotten many of the simple lessons that Christ taught His original disciples. We have turned away from the morality taught by Jesus and have embraced a morality of relevance. We no longer cling to long held truths, we make up new truths based on our own desires and ideas of how things should be.

We, just as the apostles, need to listen to Jesus and take His words to heart. We need to make His teachings our guidelines for living our life. If fishermen and tax collectors could become the greatest evangelists ever known, there is hope for us as well. We only need to quit judging by today’s standards and look to the standards established by God and reinforced through Jesus’ life on earth.

Jesus taught us that He isn’t looking for those who are prepared to be called. He is looking for those who are willing to be called. Our current state in life doesn’t matter; where we will go when we follow Him is what is important. He will provide all the preparation needed to serve him as a disciple.

Peter wasn’t prepared to become the leader of a religious movement that would change the world. Peter was a simple fisherman, just as were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Jesus called them to greatest from obscurity.

Matthew belonged to one of the most hated professions in Judea. He was a tax collector for Herod and Rome. He earned his living by taking not only the taxes due the authorities but by extorting additional funds from the people to pay his own way. He certainly would not have been looked upon as a member of the Messiah’s inner circle. Yet, Jesus chose him.

Saul of Tarsus was one of the most enthusiastic persecutors of the Christians. He held the cloaks of those who would stone Stephen, the first deacon of the Church. He traveled far and wide to persecute the Christians. He was known for hunting them down wherever they were and dragging them off to prison. Still, Jesus chose him.

“Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you Lord?’ And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:3-6)

Paul became the Lord’s apostle to the gentiles. Even though his earlier life was devoted to eliminating Christians wherever possible, he now became one of the most vocal of Christians, evangelizing and converting others to Christianity for the rest of his life.

Today, Jesus is still seeking those who would answer His call. Like the apostles, Jesus will accept us if we ask and change us just as he did those who followed Him during His life on earth. He obviously chose some very great sinners as his apostle’s. He didn’t wait for them to change, He changed them. Just so, He will change us if we are willing.

In reading the gospels I cannot find one instance of Jesus insisting that someone follow Him. He invited them, He accepted them, and He changed them. Those who felt themselves righteous couldn’t understand that Jesus came to call the sinners, not the righteous. He came to change lives, giving hope for eternal life to those who had no hope. He did not pressure them. He did not demand their faith or loyalty; rather, He asked for their faith and loyalty and promised paradise if they chose it. He taught them the error of their ways and pointed out the error in the ways of those who were supposed to be their religious leaders. He brought the kingdom of God to them and offered it to them. The decision to accept Jesus and become a part of God’s kingdom was a choice offered, not a demand made.

What does this mean to us today? It means that Jesus is calling us, just as He called His disciples when He walked on earth. He is not looking for those who are qualified, but those who are willing. He will give us all the qualifications needed to be His disciple. All He asks of us is faith and willingness to allow Him to be our guide. He will show us the path, we only need to seek His help and His strength in following that path.

Jesus will provide the talents needed to serve Him. He will give us the strength to walk with Him. He is there for our support in everything we do; we just need to ask in faith. “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Jesus isn’t interested in our wealth or the house we live in, or the car we drive. These things are finite and will not last. He asks us to seek the infinite if we are to serve Him. Set your sites on the heavens and strive to achieve perfection. While no man except Jesus can be perfect, our efforts are pleasing to God. He wants us to strive to be the best we can be and will help us in every way if we approach Him in faith, love and service.

Answering Jesus’ call may also require sacrifice, hardship and even death. The apostles knew this. The early Christians certainly knew it given the many persecutions to which they were subjected. The accounts of martyrs giving up their lives in the most horrible, painful ways are plentiful. Yet they considered the reward worth the price. Suffering death in this world to achieve paradise with God was, in their eyes, a bargain worth taking. So much so that the day of martyrdom was considered the birthday of those chosen to suffer. A birth into the glory of God.

Today, we don’t hear much of Christian martyrdom. It exists in many areas of the world but in this country we tend to ignore what goes on in the rest of the world far too often. We complain that the pastor doesn’t give an exciting homily, or that he steps on too many toes in his preaching. In Egypt, the Coptic Christians are burned in their churches and killed in the streets. In China, Catholics have to hide in order to celebrate the Mass. Even in this country there is a movement to equate Christianity with fanaticism. Once Christians are successfully put into the same category as racists, ku klux klan members, and terrorists, persecution won’t be far behind. Are we prepared to stand for Jesus just as the early Christians? By His mercy we may never be required to fully answer that question. However, if we are to be Christians, we need to answer that question for ourselves.

What does Jesus ask? He asks the same of us that He asked of his apostles. Follow Him, love Him, serve Him in all that we do. Be a beacon of light that others may see Jesus within us. Count the cost, whatever it may be, a small price to pay for eternity in the presence of God. For over two thousand years that has been His request. Many have followed, many have fallen away, many are yet to come. Ask for His forgiveness, seek His guidance, and knock on the door of heaven.

Go and make disciples of all nations.

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)


The above meditation is a chapter from Ed’s new eBook “The Narrow Gate”. Available now for only $1.99 on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and other fine publishers.

Liturgical vestments

One area of study I have ignored during the 5 years since my conversion is liturgical vestments. There is so much to learn that until now, I have given this area a very low priority. At some point however, in conversation with others, I have to stop describing the things priests or deacons wear and use their actual names. It gets to be embarrassing otherwise!

I was going to make some notes for myself, but decided that you might be interested too. Hence, this post. Please note that this is only the basics. There is a huge amount of variety by rite and somewhat by country and diocese. Proper vesting also varies by rank (for lack of a better word, e.g. priest, monsignor, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, pope) and by ceremonial usage. This should cover most common usage that you will see in your US Latin Rite parish.

Alb

The basic building block of the vestments is the alb (meaning “white” from the Latin Albus). It is that white, floor-length tunic which is under the other parts. It looks like this:


The Alb

The alb is worn by priests, deacons and lay ministers. It is derived from the ordinary clothing of Romans in the first century.

A shorter version of the alb is the surplice, plain or adorned by lace. You might recognize it worn over a black cassock (see next) in choir dress or by seminarians at Mass. There are other forms (e.g. rochet for prelates) and usages. It looks like this:


The Surplice

Cassock

Backing up, priests and deacons often wear a black clerical shirt with matching pants, belt, socks and shoes. This dress does not have a fancy name, but is usually referred to as simply “clerics” or “clerical clothing.”

A less common alternative to this is the cassock (meaning “ankle-length garment from the Latin vestis talaris; a/k/a a soutane). Jesuits, for example, wear simple black cassocks. It looks like this:


The Cassock (plain and with bishop’s piping, cape and cincture)

Like the alb, the cassock also dates back to first century Roman tunics. It can be black or white (in warm climates) and usually features a built-in collar and top-to-bottom row of buttons (sometimes 33). It may also be worn with a shoulder cape (formally a pellegrina) and colored piping, depending on rank. It can be worn by non-clerics and is the basis for habits worn by the consecrated religious.

Stole

This you quickly recognize. It comes from the Latin stola (meaning “garment”) and is a long wide cloth worn around the neck. Deacons and priests wear it differently, thus:


Deacon and Priest Stoles

The stole is worn over the alb (or the shorter surplice, depending on use) and its color matched to the liturgical season, feast or special Mass. It can also be worn over clerics outside of Mass (e.g. a purple stole worn by the priest at confession).

Chasuble

Chasuble (meaning “little house” from the Latin casula) is the outermost body garment. It is layered over the stole and alb. It looks like this:


The Chasuble (for priests)

The chasuble is worn by priests only at Mass or other sacred actions connected to a Mass. It is derived from traveling coats worn at the end of the Roman empire. Like the stole, its color is liturgically keyed.

Dalmatic

Like the chasuble, the dalmatic is worn over stoles and albs. It is similarly ornamented and colored and at a glance may appear to be the same. It’s not and it is important to know the difference because of who wears each. Unlike the chasuble, the dalmatic has wide sleeves, customarily with a slit under each in a scapular style (although not always). Additionally, the dalmatic typically has 2 stripes which run from hem to hem over the shoulders with 2 cross stripes connecting them. It looks like this:


The Dalmatic (for deacons)

While only priests wear chasubles, only deacons wear dalmatics. Except on special uses where a bishop wears a dalmatic under his chasuble (confusing, huh?). One final note, in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Tridentine), the dalmatics worn by subdeacons are distinguished from those of deacons by having only 1 cross stripe (vs. 2 for deacons). These dalmatics are also known as tunicles and of course, subdeacons (constituted but not ordained) do not wear stoles under them.

Other Stuff

Cincture

Braided cords, white or keyed to the liturgical color, tied around the waist with knotted or tasseled ends hanging on the side. These can also be wider bands as worn by bishops. It looks like this:


Cincture (around waist)

Cope

Cope (meaning “cape,” from the Latin cappa) is easily recognized as an long cape draped over the shoulders, open in front and worn over other vestments. It looks like this:


The Cope

The cope is worn by priests during special Solemnities and Eucharistic adoration.

Humeral Veil

A special garment worn briefly by priests and deacons during the blessing, while grasping a monstrance at the end of adoration of the blessed sacrament. It looks like this:


The Humeral Veil

Biretta

A biretta (from the Latin biretum, birretum) is a square cap with 3 “peaks” (in a square, the corner without a peak is worn to the left). They are black (for priests and lower rank), amaranth (reddish rose) for bishops and scarlet red for cardinals. Tufts (poms) are on top except for cardinals. Bishops have purple tufts and some Vatican priests have red tufts, but most are black. It looks like this.


The Biretta

The biretta is worn by all ranks below pope to subdeacons and seminarians.

Bishop Stuff

Mitre

Those “pointy hats” worn by bishops. It looks like this:


The Mitre

Zucchetto

The skull cap worn by prelates (i.e. pope and bishops). See picture below.

Pectoral Cross

A large cross worn on a chain or cord by bishops. It looks like this:


Pectoral Cross and Zucchetto (Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone)

Concluding Notes

This list is not exhaustive, but covers common vestments you will see. Other vestments include the maniple, amice, pallium, ferula, pontifical gloves and sandals, galero, camauro, fanon, mozzetta, papal tiara, subcinctorium, falda, etc. Still other additional vestments apply to Eastern Rite Catholic churches. Much more can be said about each item listed on its use, history and symbolism.

I also did not address in any detail when these vestments can be worn and in what combinations. There is a lot of tradition here and for many cases, the requirements are detailed in the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal). Some things are debatable (e.g. wearing a maniple in the OF Mass).

Also note that clergy sometime fill a different liturgical role than that of their rank. For example, priests sometimes serve and dress as deacons when they are not concelebrating or deacons in choir dress acting as master of ceremonies. You are most likely to see this kind of thing (when useful, if at all) for a Mass celebrated by your bishop. Generally, if you see someone wearing a chasuble they are a priest; if they are wearing a dalmatic then they are a deacon.

Lastly, this piece did not touch on similarly rich non-vestment liturgical items such as the crucifix (OK, that one is easy), tabernacle, sanctuary lamp (tabernacle lamp), ambo, altar, missal (sacramentary), breviary, lectionary, the Roman Ritual / Roman Pontifical / Roman Martyrology / Roman Gradual, crosier, processional cross, processional candles, paschal candle, font, chalice, ciborium, host, paten, cruets, credence table, thurible (censer) and boat, incense, aspersory and aspergillum (aspergill), monstrance (ostensorium or ostensory) and its luna, pyx, chalice veil, purificatior (mundatory or purificatory), pall, finger towels, corporal, burse, etc. You can see why I didn’t get into all that here!

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #164)

This week: Archbishop Charles Chaput reflects on Lent and our active participation in it. Another wonderful video trailer from the Ascension Press “Chosen” program. A look at capitalism and common myths promoted against it. A Vatican official lashes-out against a faithful Catholic blogger with legal threats. Stuart Shephard looks at the President’s assertion that we are not a Christian nation. With Obamacare, relentless attacks on religious freedom, explosive national debt, rule by decree and so many other scandals, do not let the threat of “Common Core” pass from your consciousness. Andrew Klavan wraps-up with his entertaining parody “HeavenEurope is for Real.”

— 1 —

What is Lent about? What is the nature of our participation? His Excellency Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia explains:

— 2 —

Brian Butler looks at our busy lives and the Mass. This is a preview video from the Ascension Press Chosen faith formation course.

— 3 —

The Holy Father has written about economic systems, Greece is in the news for their slow-motion financial collapse and a lot of people are confused. Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, presenting for Prager University, has a new video to explain our system:

— 4 —

Apparently working in opposition to Pope Francis’ strong, repeated desire for an open, transparent discussion – this Vatican official has taken steps to stifle a view contrary to his. He has hired attorneys and threatened a faithful, Catholic blogger with a crippling lawsuit. It is uncharitable, betrays his own agenda and to be blunt…   dumb as it is certain to backfire in a big way. More on Fr. Rosica can be found here and here.

— 5 —

President Obama’s recent attempt to equate extremist Islamic violence (common, widespread and brutal) with extremist Christian violence (a major problem in his mind but otherwise non-existent) remains in the news. A big part of his perspective may be his conclusion that we are not a Christian nation. Stuart Shephard offered this look at that:

While according to the president we are not a Christian nation, he declared on Ash Wednesday that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding” (source: CNS).

— 6 —

Common Core continues to spread like a weaponized, drug-resistant disease. If it has infected your children’s school, they are at serious risk. If you haven’t yet, you really should take a strong interest in this.

How much money does it take to force something like this on the public? The answer is hundreds of millions and that has been done. Be sure to know where the candidates stand on this in upcoming primary and general elections. (Note: Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton both strongly supports it.)

— 7 —

Closing with Andrew Klavan…


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

God’s house

Last night before dusk, I was a few minutes early at church. A number of small children were leaving CCD (a/k/a religious education class) and posing for pictures in front of our patron saint’s statue while holding some formal-looking certificate. The children were proud of their accomplishment (whatever it was) and the parents were beaming.

What a happy place! If we think about it, we realize that all of the really important milestones of our lives take place right here at this building. Yet this building is quite different than every other. It is God’s house and He is at home.

This is where we come to unite with Him in His once and for all sacrifice which continues for us to this day. Here we join with Him both spiritually and incarnated in the Blessed Sacrament, the source and summit of the Christian life. It is not just the two of us either, but all the faithful: past, present and future. At this place our Eucharistic liturgy joins with the Heavenly liturgy, in the presence of God, together with all the angels and saints. If ever the word “awesome” could be applied, this is it.

The rhythm of our lives plays-out here. The picture taking I witnessed is just a memorable snapshot of a long series, in the lives of those children and in the lives of their parents. For each of them this journey began at their baptisms where they became the adopted children of God, establishing a familial relationship with Him and the entire Communion of Saints.

As the weeks and years pass, we live our imperfect lives, anchored by faith and our continuous response to the calls of conversion and holiness. In a world searching for the meaning of life, we found it — to know, love and serve the Lord. The truth really does set us free. Seeking to know Him, we serve the poor, connect to the disenfranchised, comfort the suffering, go to Bible studies, classes, men’s and women’s groups, retreats, read scripture and pray…   most especially through our participation in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is there that the bridegroom and His bride the Church are most intimately one in their expression of mutual love. It is from there we are sent into the world to serve Him.

The timeline marches on but we are not afraid. Along the way we are continuously strengthened by the sanctifying grace of the sacraments. The young children in the pictures will soon receive first communion. A little later, they will be confirmed, with new graces complimenting their baptisms and further forming their office as priests, prophets and kings. In a few years, many will also enter into a life-long covenant with another through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It will be they who are then behind the camera taking pictures of their own children.

Along the way, our fallen nature allows us to choose against what is good, true and holy. We temporarily leave this place for one of false promises. Our rebellion may be brief or many decades. The Father waits patiently for us to return and the angels rejoice when we finally turn back. In the sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus absolves and forgets our sins, throwing His loving arms around us and welcomes us home.

Eventually, the race will end. We will be gone, temporarily, from our body. Our loved ones will bring us here one last time as the cycle for us is completed. Later that day a new life may be brought into the Church, a couple may become one, or a brother or sister find their way back.

That is what happens here everyday in God’s house, this Catholic church and every Catholic church. We are so blessed.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #163)

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. Equating radical Islam barbarism and Christianity. The narrative vs. dads. Another trailer from Chosen with Christ Stefanick. Spot, the 4 legged military robot. The lies, threats and manipulation of Ferguson to further an agenda. Andrew Klavan reveals Putin’s secret message to our Obama.

— 1 —

New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #26, February 2015, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from January. Contributing authors this month include: Chris Capolino, Adam Crawford, Virginia Lieto, Christian LeBlanc, Susan Fox, Larry Fox, Cindy Hurla, David Wong, Nancy Shuman, Tracy Smith, Sarah Thèrése, Blythe Kaufman, Dennis McGeehan, Allison DeWolf, Dn. Scott Dodge, MC, Timothy McCormick, De Maria, Denise Hunnell, Katie O’Keefe, John Donaghy, Diane Korzeniewski, Ellen Kolb, Birgit Jones, Elizabeth Reardon, Jenn Tatum, Nancy Ward, Shannon Vandaveer, Fr. Chori Jonathin Seraiah, Sr. Margaret Obrovac, Tony Agnesi, John Schroeder, Emily Borman, Rick Becker, Ishmael Alighieri, Lisa Laverty, Larry Peterson, Nicole Ernest, Shannon Ball, Monica, Bonnie Way, Fr. John Corrigan, Laura Pearl, Karee Santos, Matthew Plese, Ashley Woleben, Fr. Ben Hadrich, Rich Maffeo, Emily Hartung, Kevin Shaw, David Torkington, Debbie Gaudino, Jessica and Manny Archuleta, Ruth Ann Pilney, George Sipe, Anabelle Hazard, Barbara Schoeneberger, Rick Rice, Godwin Adadzie, Mallory Hoffman, Bobbi, Brantly Millegan, Michael Seagriff, Carolyn Astfalk, Msgr. Charles Pope, Melanie Jean Juneau, Fr. Tucker Cordani, Roxane Salonen, Rita Buettner, Sr. Maresa Lilley, Anita Moore, Brian Gill, Fr. David Bird, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Allison Salerno, Fr. Adrian Danker, Leslie Klinger, James Milliken, Rose O’Donnell, Jim Curley, Melissa Overmyer, Zoe Jumonville, Lisa Ponchak, Matt McCormick, Justin Soutar, Margaret Felice, Larry T, Joseph Shaw, Julian Barkin, Rebecca LaBriola, Bartimaeus Timeo, Philip Kosloski, Jen Steed, Jeff Walker, Emily Davis, Barbara Szyszkiewicz, Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Vinny Carr, Barbara Hosbach, Ronald Moffat, Kimberly Lynch, Niki Chris, Reese Cumming, Paul Smith, Melody Marie and Joe LaCombe.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at NewEvangelists.org.

Read Now

— 2 —

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama equated IS barbarism (which he refuse to relate to radical Islam) and Christianity. He displayed an amazing ignorance of history, even for him. Bobby Jindal had one of the best responses to the President’s outrageous comments:

It was nice of the President to give us a history lesson at the Prayer breakfast. Today, however, the issue right in front of his nose, in the here and now, is the terrorism of radical Islam, the assassination of journalists, the beheading and burning alive of captives. We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the radical Islamic threat today.

— 3 —

The narrative is known well to all and believed by far too many (particularly the idealistic, gullible youth). Hollywood and the media working hand-in-hand to present their ideological truths: abortion empowers women, homosexual “marriage” is a civil rights issue, the government needs to be bigger to justly redistribute wealth, everybody has a basic human need for (frequent) sex, it is perfectly natural (even admirable) to question your gender identity and sexual orientation, entitlement not reward, and so on. Part of this narrative is “fathers are the family idiots” (unless they are gay). It was nice to see this counter-cultural commercial, far closer to reality than usual:

— 4 —

Chris Stefanick asks what are YOU looking for? This is a preview video from the Ascension Press Chosen faith formation course.

— 5 —

Boston Dynamics is developing some unique robots for the military. They are loud and until now, quite big. The latest model is smaller, about the size of a large dog, nicknamed “Spot”:

— 6 —

It seems like everyone got tired of hearing about Ferguson around the time that the truth was coming out. It has been a while, so now is a good time to revisit.

— 7 —

This week from Andrew Klavan…


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

show